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Beinn Eibhinn the Terrible

Beinn Eibhinn the Terrible

Postby gavinlyoung » Fri May 21, 2021 6:56 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Èibhinn

Date walked: 13/05/2021

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 27.5 km

Ascent: 699m

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Eibhinn the Terrible
Well, it wasn’t really terrible (though I think Ivan really was) and it’s a poor joke at the mountain’s expense. However, my navigating mistake near the summit almost was terrible and shameful for a man who has been on mountains for over 60 years.
I had, some years ago, realised that Naismith’s rule was going to need adjusting and I have created my own geriatric correction so I now allow one hour for 4 km and a further hour for every 400 m of ascent. This is fine for pensioners but 20-year-olds made a little more time.
That being the case I realised I could not manage being eyes in and then the lap in one day and fit in with train times so I spent the night before my trip at the By the Way campsite at Tyndrum. Yes, I do like wild camping but sometimes the prospect of a hot shower is just too enticing.
The next morning I drove to Tyndrum Upper station and unloaded my bike. You need to book your bicycle onto this route so I had done so the week before- however there is no charge and ScotRail are well used to bicycles.
The 50 minute journey to Corrour was enjoyable noting all the hills on the way which I had climbed over the years. The only bad bit was having to show the young female guard my senior Railcard which makes me look like an escapee from a psychogeriatric ward which one day I suppose I may be.
Just a few of us got off at Corrour. Almost all my gear and food was in my rucksack only the tent and sleeping-mat strapped onto the bike. The rucksack being quite heavy, I nearly fell over when trying to mount the bike – why does this always happen in front of an audience?
I cycled for just about 2Km taking the track running on the north side of Loch Ossian as it is much smoother and easier for a bike . I pitched tent just before the forest begins Grid Ref 372676 - across the loch from the youth hostel (still closed because of Covid).
And here I heard my first cuckoo of the year. This reminded me of the piece by Delius:
“On Cooking the first Hero of Spring” ( Frank Muir joke from My Music circa 1970)
32 camp by L Ossian.jpg
Camp by L Ossian

At 12 noon I set off with a very light rucksack east along Loch Ossian- a lovely ride with little up-and-down mainly through pine forest until the extra-ordinary Corrour Lodge is reached. This looks like a Bond villain’s layer but is actually built from Tetra Pak well, built from money from making Tetra Pak. The Corrour Estate are busy making the place very eco-friendly- I was later to pass the small dam making up part of the hydro- scheme.
There is a substantial landrover track leading East for 1 Km or two but too steep for me to wish to cycle up so I left the bike and walked. About 100m beyond the dam the surfaced track ends and you are faced with a choice- left fork on a squelchy track used by wheeled vehicles or right by the burn – a very indistinct footpath
34 footpath is on the R.jpg
Footpath- indistinct is on the right

I took the squelchy version on the way out and the footpath on the way back – the latter was preferable after all the rain this May. I headed north up the hill with no visible track and the ascent seemed endless. Finally I reached what I believed was the top of Glas Choire and was appalled to see how far away the summit still was way over to the North East.
35 NE to Aonach Beag ,Geal Charn.jpg
NE to Aonach Beag

However by this point, at last, I had a phone signal and this coupled with ViewRanger (my favourite App) showed me that I was actually on the top of Beinn Eibhinn and that the far away summit to the North East was Aonach Beag. Yes ,dear reader, I am sure you are wondering how such an experienced chap as myself could have been so badly wrong. I wonder it myself and the only explanation I can give is that I missed noticing the Allt Feith a Mheallain gully so thought the Allt Glas-choire was it so had progressed further up the glen than I believed. However, it did mean I had reached the summit in four hours from the tent so the score was:
Brain 0 Legs 1
I allowed the triumph of my speedy ascent to overcome the dejection of such a terrible navigating error maybe helped by the good view and long sunny breaks in the cloud.
PHOTOS 4,5,6,
36 W to Loch Ossian.jpg
W to Loch Ossian

37-Summit has almost no cairn.jpg
The summit has almost no cairn
39 - NW getting cloudy.jpg
Cloudy to NW

The view to the South East over the summit to Ben Alder was particularly fine
40 Summit and E to Ben Alder.jpg
The summit and SE to Ben Alder

Going down is not the joy it used to be as you will discover when you too develop arthritis in your knees but walking poles make a huge difference and the angle wasn’t bad once I discovered I could take the gentle slope off Glas Choire. Back to the bike and then repeat of the lovely cycle ride on the north side of Loch Ossian. I was back at the tent at 7 PM , three hours after leaving the summit. Then it began to rain gently but it had been kind enough to desist until I got inside the tent. I had a fine view to the east looking back to where I had been.
41 Evening view from the tent.jpg
evening view from near the tent

Supper was a very good chicken korma made by Look What We Found and basmati rice and half a bottle of Chilean Pinot Noir followed by just a drop or two of Balvenie and off to sleep early to wake at 7 AM to tackle Beinn na Lap. In the event I woke little bit before this but could not get back to sleep due to the incessant call of the bloomin’ cuckoo
I was keen to do Beinn na Lap as I had been beaten back off what must be one of Scotland’s easiest hills by a blizzard in May some 10 years earlier. This year I managed it albeit the top was in mist. Then down and back on the bike to Corrour where the station was open for a welcome pint of beer before the 1230 train South.
260 done 22 to go.
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Re: Beinn Eibhinn the Terrible

Postby Phil the Hill » Mon May 24, 2021 1:43 pm

Interesting route and good report. I like a Look what We Found meal when wild camping, but would pair a white rather than a red wine with Chicken Korma. Aussie Riesling with a screwcap is a good choice <g>
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Phil the Hill
Posts: 371
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